BusinessWeek: ‘There are plenty of reasons to expect Apple Macintosh renaissance’

“It’s remarkable that Apple Computer Inc., heading the BusinessWeek 50 list of the best corporate performers, was on the brink not so long ago… While the iPod gets most of the headlines, the Mac still brought in 39% of Apple’s sales in 2005. And while most analysts think that iPod sales will continue to skyrocket for the next couple of years, they also believe that the music player market will come back to earth at some point. ‘The Mac will be increasingly important [to Apple’s growth] in the last years of the decade,’ says Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf,” BusinessWeek reports. “The reason is straightforward: On the whole, PCs are much bigger than digital music. Right now, Apple dominates the digital music player market, which is expected to hit $12 billion in 2009, with a share of more than 70%. But Apple has just 5% of the $75 billion home PC market. Each additional point of PC market share that Apple gains would equal roughly $750 million in sales. That’s a big chunk for a $16 billion company. Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research, thinks Mac sales could grow 25% in 2007, vs. 10% for the broader industry. Beginning in 2007, says Wu, ‘I think the Mac business will outgrow the iPod business.'”

“There are plenty of reasons to expect a Macintosh renaissance. Currently, Apple is struggling to meet demand for its new MacBook Pro laptop despite a $1,900 price tag that is nearly twice that of garden-variety rivals. Apple-watchers expect the company to launch lower-priced MacBooks in coming months to compete for the lion’s share of the market. By early next year, Adobe Systems Inc. will have converted its popular graphics and Web publishing software to run at top speed on the new Intel-based Macs, a critical event for Mac power users,” BusinessWeek reports. “Apple has some wild cards it can play to goose the Mac’s market share, as well. While Apple won’t comment, Needham’s Wolf believes that the Intel-based Macs will be able to run Windows programs right along with Mac titles by yearend. That could entice hordes of disgruntled PC owners to give the Mac a shot, secure in the knowledge that they can continue using familiar programs. This prospect seems to resonate among younger buyers, where Apple’s resurgence has been most pronounced. Earlier this year, Wolf surveyed 255 college students, and the number of Windows-compatible PC owners who said they would “definitely” buy a Mac if it had this capability jumped from 1.8% to 13.5%.”

BusinessWeek reports, “In the longer term, Apple could still try an oft-debated strategy: licensing its Mac software to other PC makers. Dell Inc. has already expressed an interest in stamping out Mac clones, much as it does with Windows-based PCs today. With more companies hawking Macs, Apple’s market share could rise into double digits. “Multiple PC makers have expressed an interest. It’s not just Dell,” says Kay.”

More in the full article here.

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iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related articles:
Will Apple CEO Steve Jobs license Mac OS X? – June 24, 2005
Fortune columnist doubts Apple CEO Jobs will let Michael Dell sell OS X anytime soon – June 23, 2005
Analyst: ‘If Dell really wanted to sell Mac OS X hardware, it could sue Apple’ – June 16, 2005
Michael Dell say’s he’d be happy to sell Apple’s Mac OS X if Steve Jobs decides to license – June 16, 2005

Gearlog: Apple Macs are very fast Windows PCs – March 22, 2006
Intel-based Apple Mac runs Windows XP ‘fast, extremely well’ – March 16, 2006
How to run Windows XP on an Intel-based Apple Macintosh – March 16, 2006
Apple CFO: ‘We will do nothing to preclude Windows from running on Intel-based Macs’ – March 08, 2006

Dvorak: Steve Jobs eventually intends for Apple’s Mac OS X to run on any x86 PC – August 08, 2005


  1. It’s the complete widget stupid. Jobs will not allow the mac experience to be ruined by cheap dull boxes. Apple wants to provide the complete experience. When they do, they can insure quality and security.

    I hope Apple goes even further to provide more creative apps, like a competitor to photoshop and quark/indesign.

    Why hasn’t photoshop shown an interest in supporting core image technologies? Because you can’t do that in windoze. Apple can show them how to create a truly cutting edge product. Forget windoze.

  2. Boy this article gets everything pretty much right on and then at the end visits the stupid debate wether Apple should license Mac OS X or not.

    Apple is a hardware company period.

    Mac OS X is used to sell Mac hardware.

    iTMS Music is used to sell iPods.

    Videos (if Apple can get them cheap enough) would be sold to sell Video iPods.

    If Mac OS X was licensed, it would be copied the world over and not many people would buy Apple hardware, because Mac’s are just like PC’s now.

    The only way Microsoft really gets it’s money is through OEM installs on new hardware and from buisnesses which can be sued if they go pirate.

    Microsoft jealously guards it’s OEM’s, often punishing them if they attempt to install/sell a alternative operating system.

    Dell was interested in licensing Mac OS X because they have built up enough respect from Microsoft (though large sales) to mess around a little bit.

    But in actuality Dell would not jeapordize Windows box sales over Mac OS X on PC sales.

    All Apple would get is a few million sales of Mac OS X a year, when instead Apple could have had several hundred thousand hardware sales which are more profitable.

    The buisness world will not accept Mac OS X, nor Apple hardware on a large scale, they are standardized on Windows. Apple doesn’t even try for the buisness market, which is a shame because they really do have a superior, cost effective product.

    It’s been proven over and over that Mac’s and Mac OS X is less costly to maintain, the users often tend to their own machines because Mac OS X works so well that they train themselves.

  3. Running Windows Apps directly from OS X would be the coup of the century for Apple. Not that there are that many I care about personally – But I know there are a few that some folks want.

    Some people are worried about software vendors only writting for Windows now. I think it could go the other way around – Windows software makers switching to the Mac or adding better compatibility for both.

    Why not write for a better – progressive platform?

  4. True, Apple is a hardware company, but its former CFO is on the record as saying the company wants to move away from being too reliant on hardware for its revenue. I wouldn’t rule out OS X licensing, even if it’s on a limited basis. Apple has shocked us before.

  5. Currently, Apple is struggling to meet demand for its new MacBook Pro laptop despite a $1,900 price tag that is nearly twice that of garden-variety rivals

    This answers another question often seen on MDN.

    Why doesn’t Apple advertise?

    There is a huge pent up demand for updated Powerbooks from the present Mac user installed base. Apple is having a hard time satisfying this demand without creating more demand from advertising.

    Apple has a supply problem, Quanta Computers makes most of the worlds laptops, including MacBook Pro’s. Apple is at the mercy of these other companies to produce their product, especially Intel. Which might be limiting Core Duo’s used in Mactels so their favorite buddy Microsoft can get Vista out without loosing significant market share to Apple or Linux.

    So now you see how the the pieces connect, apple is able to advertise the iPod and create demand because it does have significant manufacturing resources.

  6. You know, MacDude, you often make some salient points in your “trollings,” and I DO look forward to reading what you have to say.

    HOWEVER . . . your grammar, mechanics, usage, and proofreading skills are so VERY poor, that WHAT you have to say is almost completely obfuscated by HOW you say it.

    For the love of precision, man, “it’s” = “it is”! And that’s just the beginning of your problems.

    Please, if you expect us to understand and accept your postings, don’t make US do all the work to decipher them!

  7. The next release of OSX will run Windows software natively!

    Apple had a secret group working on the Intel version of OSX, so this is not out of the question. Think of the market share gains then.

  8. Running Windows Apps directly from OS X would be the coup of the century for Apple. Not that there are that many I care about personally – But I know there are a few that some folks want.

    OH yes, I would love to run 3D PC games on my PowerMac. Right now I’m running through 200 maps of UT2004, which is getting quite boring.

    I’ll download a map, play it for awhile and then get another.

    I’m waiting for Quake 4, which should be released very soon. But I suspect that is a game like Doom3 and Halo, play it through and that’s that.

    However, with a Intel based PowerMac all we might be able to use is pre-Vista Windows programs, because Microsoft realized the threat of a Intel based Mac and now relies upon DirectX and runs Open Gl on top of that, hobbling it.

    Microsoft is coming out with another Virtual PC, but it will be hobbled like before so we can’t run it at full strenght.

    Also M$ has their Mac programs based upon Metroworks, so they, like Adobe will take considerable time making a X-Code universal binary version.

    Since Vista itself is already delayed, it might be quite some time before we see a VPC for Mactels.

    We might see a Vista for Mac’s before then, Microsoft see’s the opportunity to switch a lot of Mac users to Windows.

    I’ll run Windows to play their 3D games in a heartbeat. But wouldn’t go online with it.

    That’s a real shame for Apple.

  9. gonna cut & paste two earlier posts that seem more relevant here…
    hope you don’t mind…

    seems like the perfect time to take a bite out of microsoft…
but rather than dreaming about 6% marketshare… they 
should go for half the table… license a secure PC version of OSX 
to dell, sony, hp boxes being released… that’s the only way 
osx will replace vista… sell a cheap stripped down but secure 
version of the OS for people to replace their xp’s with… 
if there is emulation of windows people don’t have to buy 
programs again… 

    the .mac membership should be the main source of income…
bundle it with the os and make sure you have to have an 
account for ilife apps/functionality to work…
make it the hub for email, iweb pages, itunes downloads, 
backup, themes, future phone, os preferences, whatever…

i’m sure in three years the marketshare would be huge… 
and people will finally realize how they’ve been duped 
all these years with an inferior crap of an OS… everyone 
needs a taste and a glimpse of what is possible on a mac…
once the bar is raised all the mediocre crap will die on its own…

    then when half the world is ready to upgrade from their 
grey boxes… the apple models will be highly attractive 
because it is compatible and uses the same os they have 
been enjoying up until then… i think there has been 
a gap similar to the diesel – gasoline gap in the car world…
change everyone’s engine (OS) to a gasoline model (OSX) first
and then the sports cars (apple hardware) will be MORE 
attractive not less… Of course the cheapskates will always 
opt for the cheapest models, but let them… and let apple benefit 
from that rather than microsoft… let the better more stable 
OS win…

    If apple does “win” it would be great to see them branch out into 
all sorts of different electronic products like sony/samsung– think ipod division times ten: apple car stereo… apple phones… apple game box… apple children’s computer… apple digital movie camera… apple home cinema system with a real apple hi-fi… who knows in 10 years time apple car’s… 

I think the trick is to partner with great companies (like they did with harmon speakers) and control the design and aesthetics… jonathin ive could probably design a great car interior (and exterior) with a team of engineers… it’s not that far-fetched– samsung has a car division now…

    digital life… the ipod proved it’s more than computers and maybe it’s time for apple to branch out even more… i’m sure we’d all support them.

  10. second

    timing is everything… 
if the first mac os was released today it would be a joke… but at the time of it’s release it was revolutionary and a stroke of genius… the point is that valuable os is worthless now because it’s obsolete. 

    OSX is already made and there is a window of opportunity where 
it is miles ahead of the competition in terms of functionality, stability and security– when vista is released it will be for most people ‘just as good’ and even better than osx because most the world is using it… Hopefully not, but history has shown that to be the case again and again.

    Most people believe “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”… but here is a situation where “they’re all broken and nobody will be able to fix it for at least a year”… the amount of people who will buy a mac may rise within a year but that’s nothing compared to the number of frustrated people crying out for a solution… Yes, i know, buy a mac… but for most people that jump is too far and/or expensive as they perceive it… Here is a chance to save everyone’s day, and let everyone use osx firsthand and apple should consider it. It would have a tremendous halo effect! 

    Apple’s philosophy, i know is to control the entire user experience and they are profitable and firmly established… however, just as there was a great (extremely profitable) opportunity to break from their philosophy and release itunes+iPod for PC… here is a bigger opportunity… and i believe their simple integrated applications are just what people want as much as a virus-free computer… only they don’t know it… apple should give them a taste…

    The reality is that our world is a virus infested, crude PC world… The moment is prime to shift this reality on a global scale as Goliath is faltering and most vulnerable now…

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